Upper Mustang Trek Overview
Location and geography
Flying to Kathmandu is in itself an exciting and beautiful experience. On a clear day, you will get panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains. Upon your arrival in Nepal, the land of the Himalayas, you will be greeted by a representative from Bold Himalaya, who will pick you up from the Tribhuwan International Airport. Then, our member will accompany you and escort you to your hotel.
Then, you can either take a rest or explore the busy Kathmandu. For the day, you can roam around beautiful Thamel and find yourself some typical local products to shop for and get a close look at the bustling urban life. You can also visit a variety of restaurants and cafés offering both Western and Nepali cuisine.
Today, we will explore the city as well as prepare for our adventurous trek. We will visit the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. They are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Kathmandu Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swyambhunath), and the Buddhist Stupa (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest stupas in the world.
The city's life is vibrant as the culture and heritage reflect their ethnic identity. Later, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader, guide, and other team members. We will provide a brief detail regarding the trek and you will get an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the upcoming adventure. We will prepare the permit on this day as well as make all the preparation necessary for this trip. You can also go for last-minute shopping for your trek. You will find every branded trekking gear at Thamel.
After taking a 20-minute flight to Pokhara, we will spend the rest of the day in the city exploring and relaxing. If you haven’t yet, go boating in the fascinating Phewa, Rupa, and Begnas Lakes, visit the beautiful hilltop monastery, or the mystical caves, we will explore each of them. We will have the chance to buy some souvenirs and enjoy the nightlife in a cheerful city.
After having our breakfast, we will move towards the airport for a morning flight to Jomsom. It is a super scenic flight of 20 minutes over the mountains with the magnificent views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri that awaits us on this incredible journey through the long-hidden kingdom of Mustang, which takes us to Jomsom, the district headquarter of Mustang.
This is a huge town, the headquarters of the Mustang region. It is also the main village in the Kaligandaki area associated with the age-old Trans-Himalayan Salt Trade route to Tibet. From Jomsom onwards, it is stormy in the afternoon. We will continue on the steady path on the Kali Gandaki river bed for about 3 hours and finally reach Ekley-Bhatti village.
After a short stop and an hour of easy walking, we will reach Kagbeni, which lies on the bank of two rivers. Kagbeni is an amusing windswept village situated on the main age-old Trans-Himalayan salt trade trail to Tibet via the Upper Mustang area. In Kagbeni a main tributary, Kak Khola, flowing from Muktinath, meets Mustang Khola, and the river is called the Kali Gandaki. We will wander the village and explore the temples and monasteries. Overnight in Kagbeni.
From here, the Upper Mustang Trek begins. After completing the permit formalities, we will enter the restricted area of the Upper Mustang. As said to be the desert of Nepal, the valley broadens with barren surroundings with green villages in the middle that appears more like a simply unbelievable fantasy.
Walking on the elongated trail with Kagbeni and Nilgiri Mountain at the backdrop is splendid. We will witness different parts of the world, including the land of Ammonites (prehistoric stone) with striking views.
The stretch of the Kali Gandaki river bed gives us the ancient history of its existence. The dramatic setting of the landscape with canyons and wind-eroded hills is phenomenal. The trail follows the up and downhill. Firstly, we will reach Tangbe village with small pathways amongst whitewashed houses, barley, and fields of buckwheat, wheat, and apple orchards. Then, we will trek ahead to Chhusang and after crossing the river we will lead to the huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, creating a tunnel through which the Kaligandaki follows. We will head on to small ridges to reach Chele Village. Chile is a small beautiful settlement from where we can overlook the valley with its picturesque setting.
Today’s walk is more into undulating trails with a couple of steep climbs and descents crossing two passes; Taklam La Pass (3624m) and Dajori La Pass (735m). Despite 6 hour's walk, the fabulous canyons with their unusual color that opens out are remarkable. In this bizarre, the farming fields with rich red buckwheat and brilliant green and the south view offering a panorama of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tilicho Peak, and YakawaKang adds up to its magnificence.
The early elevated walk through the hill-cut trail in one of these awesome canyons is remarkable. We will observe the sky caves which date back more than 3000 years that were used as human settlements, burial chambers, and now lama hermit retreats. We will climb to Taklam La Pass through plateaus and narrow stretches and then, descend a little to the village of Samar. We will climb the trail that goes above Samar village to the ridge then, descend steeply to a stream.
We will have our lunch at the mini settlement of Bhena which is now a jeep station but with spectacular scenic beauty. Then, we will climb up to the pass before dropping down to Syangboche which is remarkable for its unexpected views. On the way, we will relax along with the surrounding cool streams and juniper trees. Locals use the dried leaves of junipers as an aroma to persuade deities and start any prosperous work. We will also pass by a cave popularly known as Ramchung Cave. Syangboche is a small settlement immersed in the valley but has a superficial surrounding.
From Syangboche, we will climb gently to a small pass Yamada La of 3,800m with extraordinary views of mountains and deep valleys into the wind-eroded canyons. We will pass through a few teahouses, Chortens, and local villages which are influenced by the Tibetan style of houses with open Varanda. We will cross mountain passes and an avenue of poplar trees and fields of Barley.
The climb to Nyi Pass (4,010m) will be a little longer. Today’s walk will be effortless with few short climbs in between but beautiful scenery alongside would hardly allow us to realize the passing away of time and arrive at Ghami for lunch. There are endless colorful gullies to the north, east, and west which is outstanding. South is still dominated by the soaring peak of Nilgiri, Tilicho, and Annapurna. After lunch, we will explore Ghami, the ancient village with a time-honored monastery, Chortens, and Mani (prayer) walls. It is one of the tremendous villages in the Lo region. The village is beautiful with fields surrounding the absolute village.
We will start our trek after breakfast with a delightful walk. This brief trek to Tsarang takes us into the ‘Land of Chortens”. This trail marks the history and legend of the Indian saint Padmasambhava (750-810 AD), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism who formed a union of Buddhism with the original Shamanistic religion of Tibet called Bon – whose influence upon Indian Buddhism makes Tibetan Buddhism so fascinating.
After walking half an hour from Ghami, we will see the longest ancient Mani wall of Mustang. The soaring red cliffs to the west tells us the legends of Padmasambhava are intriguing. After walking for four hours and crossing the Tsarang La Pass at 3870m, we will reach the fascinating big village of Tsarang which looks dramatic. The village is situated at the top of the Charang Chu Canyon with a great fortress and a red Gompa to the east of it. After having lunch, we will visit the ancient Monastery and the white palace of Tsarang which is their heritage. There is also a huge white dzong and red Gompa to admire. Self-exploration around maze-like Charang is worth it.
Today, we will trek to one of the main attractions of this trip: Lo Manthang with majestic views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I, and Bhrikuti peak. This was the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo. Finally, we will get to the plateau of Lo Manthang, ‘The Capital city and the Plain of Aspiration’ of Mustang. The mythical walled city of Lo, the kingdom with a single entrance is a welcome sight! The king, “Lo Gyelbu”, named Jigme Palbar Bista, still resides at his four-storied palace inside the walled city of Lo Manthang.
This city consists of around 150 households and residences for Lama Gurus. Dropping down into a canyon we will cross a river and ascend to the Lo La pass (3,950m). From the past, we will get our first look at the historic and beautiful village of Lo Manthang. We will trek via Lo-Gear, which is the oldest Gompa in Nepal and older than the Samye Gompa of Tibet. After an hour and a half walk from Tsarang, there is a fascinating solitary ancient Chorten in the middle of the road.
The fabulous scene of Lo Manthang, the valley of Chhosar, and Thinker from the 4000 m pass of Lo-La is impressive. And the view of varied historical ruined forts on the high hills is one of the highlights. After lunch, we will explore the legendary walled city of Lo. We will have the opportunity to visit the ancient temples and monasteries of the region and the periphery of the King’s impressive palace. We will also have the chance to guide horses on a lease and see the beautiful valley.
The capital city of Mustang, Lo Manthang consists of about 150 houses and has some of the largest and finest Tibetan Buddhism Gompas in Nepal. The city itself is a perfectly fascinating place with four main ancient Monasteries which are splendid and a huge 14th-century palace imposing a 4-story building in the center of the city. After breakfast, our leader will organize a jeep for the Chhosar excursion.
We will explore the Nympho Cave monastery built into the side of a soaring cliff. Also, 2500 years old Jhong Sky Cave has more than 44 chambers and gives us the primitive settlement of humans. We will visit Namgyal Gompa which is situated on a hilltop and presents as an important monastery of the local community and also as a local court.
Later, if we are not exhausted we can walk to Thinker summer palace or explore the extraordinary ancient monasteries inside the walled city itself which is exceptional. We can also visit the Tall Champa Lakhang “God house” the red Thugchen Gompa, Chyodi Gompa, and the Entrance hall which is the major attraction of this town. We will have the opportunity to admire the large Buddha statue and intricate Mandalas painted on the walls.
Leaving behind the legendary village, we will depart through the solitary entrance to Lo Gear. Today, we will walk different west terrain which offers the most beautiful view despite a few steep downhill trails. We will explore the world’s oldest Tibetan monastery Ghar Gompa built around the 7th century by the signified monk Padmasambhava.
We will take a different trail that leads us to the world’s oldest monastery, Ghar Gompa. The Gompa is also well-known for its rock paintings. According to the legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Ghar Gompa, their wish is accomplished. The glimpse of the landscape and the mountain in the south are fascinating. Also, lunch at a 7th-century monastery is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The walk to Drakmar is thrilling with different trails high above the canyons and eroded hills. Drakmar, a land of red cliffs is one of its kind where overnight is worth.
Today, we will get back to Ghiling for our overnight stay after a long walk of 5-6 hours. Our journey moves on through the semi-arid wilderness, passing numerous caves on the route, with Mani walls marking our passage as we head back toward the south. A climb takes us regularly upward at the day’s end to Ghiling, with abundant time left over to explore the village.
After reaching Ghiling, we will have our lunch and enjoy the day exploring the area. It will be dusty in the afternoon so, we will have a walk in the evening time. Ghiling is one of the enormous villages in the region and is home to an awe-inspiring 15th-century monastery. The village sits at the foot of a rocky mountain, surrounded by agricultural fields.
Today's hike presents perfect views of the Himalayas as we trek downhill over a rolling landscape of the community and picturesque scenery, the entire region passing its Tibetan influences and culture. We will trace back our trail towards the south. We will start early today to visit the legendary Chungsi Cave
The monastery is one of the most attractive among all cave monasteries of Mustang where Saint Padmasambhava meditated around the 7th century with a vision to bring Buddhism to Tibet. But be prepared for all the damp ascent. We have lunch in the pretty village of Samar famous for its popular grove. Then, we will descend to the Chhusang with a great view of Nilgiri and a wide stretch of Kali Gandaki. Chhusang is one more pretty old village with an apple orchard, there are too many Nepali and Tibetan songs interpreting the beauty of Chhusang.
The trail from Chhusang is all the way up that we are climbing over 1,100m and through the very small trackway inside the bushes. We will have a magnificent view of Himalaya Parbat dominated by Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m).
The scenery makes up for the hard slog, and we’ll have panoramic views from the pass of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Tukuche peaks. Muktinath is a holy temple for Hindus where so many Nepali and Indian pilgrimages come to show their devotion to Hindu Gods and above that, the temple shows the cooperation between Hinduism and Buddhism.
Today we will say goodbye to Upper Mustang and enter the lower regions at Jomson. The trail is all the way flat down through the very beautiful landscape with an amazing view of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m).
We will trek most of the way through the bank of the Kaligandaki River, we will walk through windy air but will be a relaxing walk. We will treat ourselves to delicious apples and see the traditional back-loom weaving techniques being trained by the local women. After we’ve checked into our accommodation we’ll be able to relax, put our feet up, and look at our beautiful journey in wonder.
The early morning flight to Pokhara from Jomsom offers eye-catching Himalayan panoramas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. In the afternoon, we will fly back to Kathmandu which takes about 30 minutes.
On arrival at Kathmandu, you will be transferred to the hotel and you can take a good rest. Also, you can feel free to explore and enjoy. We will celebrate the successful completion of our trekking with a pleasant farewell dinner.
It’s time to say farewell to Nepal. After wishing you a goodbye, our representative from Bold Himalaya will assist you to Tribhuwan International Airport for your next destination.
If you have any intention of extending your stay in Nepal for an adventurous experience like Safari, Rafting, Biking Tours, Peak climbing, and trekking in other regions, then we would be more than happy to be of help. Thank you for choosing Upper Mustang Trekking in Nepal with Bold Himalaya. Take care and goodbye from Bold Himalaya.
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Package Includes: All airport pick up and departure and all ground transportation during trips
All transportation Domestic Flight according to itinerary Pokhara- Jomsom- Pokhara Domestic Flight 2 way flight ticket Hotel in Kathmandu three star category in twin sharing bed with breakfast basis and standard Guesthouse/ Trekking Lodge in Trekking Area All Breakfast in the trip, Lunch, Dinner in trekking Whole accommodations during trips Some seasonal fruit items as the in trekking first aid medicine items Necessary staff, guide & porters including all their (Food Accommodation, Salary, and Insurance) One special cultural show and farewell dinner program Our government tax & official expenses Special area permit, Annapurna Conservation Area entrance fee, TIMS Sleeping Bag, Down Jacket (If you Needed Return after Trekking) Duffle Bag, T-shirt, and Trip certificate One cultural show and dinner program Our service and government tax
Rewarding trekking to Upper Mustang
Our Review of Upper Mustang Trek in Trip Advisor
The upper Mustang trek was well designed by our trek planer of bold Himalaya. A rewarding adventure through the wonderful area of the world with excellent guidance and support. All the trekking members were helpful and experts. Me and my colleague really have a great time with the Bold Himalaya family. Comfort accommodation, sugar trekking guides, and porters made our trips full of joy. I really thank this agency for making my vacation a memorable scenery of my life
Date: 07 June, 2022
Upper Mustang Trek/Tour Information
Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty
Weather conditions can be unpredictable, especially at higher altitudes, with cold temperatures and potential snowfall. Basic facilities and lodging are available in the remote region. While a good level of physical fitness and some trekking experience is recommended, guided treks offer access to trekkers of varying skill levels. Proper preparation and guidance ensure a rewarding experience in this unique and captivating region.
How to prepare for this trek
To increase your cardiovascular fitness, take part in exercises like jogging, cycling, and stair climbing. You may increase your stamina for long treks by doing these workouts.
Exercises that target the main muscle groups, especially those in your legs and core, should be the focus of your strength training. Your muscles will become more prepared for the rigors of trekking if you perform squats, lunges, step-ups, and core exercises like planks.
To improve flexibility and prevent muscle tightness or injuries throughout the walk, incorporate frequent stretching or yoga sessions.
Plan your trekking itinerary to include gradual altitude gains. This allows your body to acclimatize slowly, reducing the risk of altitude sickness.
Include rest days in your itinerary to acclimatize and give your body time to adjust to higher altitudes.
Cultivate a positive attitude and maintain mental resilience. Treks can be challenging, but a positive mindset can make a significant difference in your experience.
Prepare mentally to adapt to changing weather conditions, potential altitude discomfort, and unfamiliar environments.
Learn about local customs, etiquette, and cultural practices. Understanding and respecting the local culture enriches your experience and interactions.
Nutrition and Hydration:
Maintain a balanced diet leading up to the trek. Consume a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your body.
Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly. Carry a refillable water bottle to minimize single-use plastic waste.
Consult a healthcare professional for a thorough medical check-up. Discuss any pre-existing health conditions, medications, and vaccinations relevant to the trek.
Best Time to Visit Upper Mustang Trek
Spring (March to May)
Autumn (September to November):
Winter (December to February):
Summer (June to August):
Reason to do Upper Mustang Trek
Tips for Successful Upper Mustang Trek
Major places you go through during this trek
Red Cliff at Dhakmar
Drinking Water Facility in Upper Mustang Trek
Mobile Network Internet and Electricity in Upper Mustang Trek
ATM and Money Exchange In Upper Mustang
Hot Shower Accessibility in Upper Mustang Trek
Guides and Porters
No of guides per group size
Tipping culture in Nepal
Weight Limits for flight and Porter for Upper Mustang Trekking
Packing List for this Trek
Footwear and Accessories:
Gear and Equipment:
Upper Mustang Trek is moderate grade trekking of Himalayan rain shadow Nepal, which all the physically fit trekkers can do easily. The trekking route is not steep ups nor steep downs, no trekking experience is required however you need to walk 4 to 6 hours per day as your itinerary. It is suitable for all ages of trekkers including old age and kids.
Upper Mustang lies in Annapurna Himalaya rain shadow which is a restricted area for trekking in Nepal because it has a unique mode of settlement with numerous old monasteries, globally thread flora and fauna, fragile environments, many special management zones, unique culture and heritage, Upper Mustang also called the forbidden kingdom of Lo and attached border with Tibet
Upper Mustang was known as the forbidden kingdom of Lo located across the Annapurna mountain range. It is surrounded by the high Himalayas which is entirely different from other mountain parts of Nepal. It is famous for its ancient old monasteries, religious sites and places, colorful hills, and cultivated diverse landscape The different shapes, and colors in the same hills made it more stunning for Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang lies across the Annapurna Himalaya range connected with the Tibet border. It is part of the high Himalayas so trekkers rarely visited in the winter season. The best time to visit Upper Mustang is from Last of the February to first of the November because the chances of snow and rain at that time are very low. At this time weather will be clear and have good visibility so travelers can catch the stunning views.
For foreigners, it cost $500 for the ten days to enter Upper Mustang and for more than 10 days, you have to pay an additional $50 per day. Only the authorized agency can apply for an Upper Mustang Trekking permit.
Yes, you can drive to Upper Mustang but we suggest going by four-wheel jeep or motorbike because there are bumpy roads only. The distance between Jomsom to Lo Manthnag is 59km / 37.
The stunning landscape of the Himalayan desert, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalaya range, unique culture, and festival, numerous ancient old monasteries and caves are the famous things of upper mustang. The white mountains. set against the backdrop of Himalayas deserts, various colors, and shapes seen on the same mountains, gorges, and places are the major tourist attractions of Upper Mustang
To get to the Upper Mustang travelers have to take a flight from Pokhara or drive from Pokhara or Kathmandu. The bus goes up to Muktinath only after that do you have to take a jeep for Upper Mustang where as Jomsom, Kagbeni, and Muktinath lie inside lower Mustang. The roads to Upper Mustang are rough( not blacked topped) so the four-wheel vehicles or motorbikes can drive easily. Trekking to Upper Mustang from Jomsom via the ancient tread route is popular trekking activity in Nepal.
10 days are standard trekking days of the upper mustang trek straight go and back where trekking starts and ends at Jomson although there are other ways to get back via Tange, Tetang, and Luri Gumba which takes 13 days to each to Jomsom
Upper Mustang Trek's maximum altitude is 4280m/14041ft where trekking starts from Jomsom 2700m so to climb 1580m within 6 days no need for acclimatization however walking slowly, drinking enough water, eating high calories diet, and avoiding smoking alcohol are recommended to escape high altitude sickness.
Yes, Upper Mustang Trek is fully worth it. Even if you have been trekking in other routes of Nepal this trekking will be a completely new experience for you, the landscape of the Himalayas desert in the lap of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalaya range, amazing old monastery, caves, culture, colorful cliffs makes you one of the great experience of your life.
Upper Dolpo to Upper Mustang, Annapurna Circuit, Ghorepani Tatopani Jomsom Muktinath, Upper Mustang Tangbe Tetang Muktinath Trek via Yara Ghara these treks can join with Upper Mustang Trek
Jomsom airport is located on the bank of Kali Gandaki River during the daytime the winds move rapidly upwards from the deep gorge of Kaligandaki river. Morning time there are fewer winds so they land and take off the plane but in the afternoon winds speed rapidly high so the small plane cannot land against the winds.
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